FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What kind of items does the museum need?
Generally, the museum is looking for any items that document the culinary history of the American South.
- Books: Cookbooks and books that focus on culinary history constitute one of the largest needs for the museum. Cookbooks always are needed.
- Menus: Another major area of collection is menus.
- Ephemera and works on paper: Photographs that document food beverage history, notes, recipe cards, recipe scrapbooks, letters, and other papers.
- Items regarding food preparation: cooking utensils and knives, meat cleavers, bowls, pots and pans, old stoves, iceboxes or storage units such as pie-safes and cabinets, peelers, graters, and other prep tools; crockery; uniforms and aprons, or old pasta-making equipment, for example.
- Items found in the dining room: old tables and chairs; linens; china; cutlery and flatware; glassware; punch bowls and other party items; serving dishes and trays;
- Items for the bar: glassware and all types of stemware; old alcohol or beer bottles; bar items; corkscrews; and bar books.
- Items found in food businesses: old ledgers or other record-keeping systems, old signage, business plans, letters and files, labels, large mixers, blenders or other food making equipment.
- Agricultural, hunting, aquaculture, fishing and gathering equipment.
Do donations become the property of the museum?
All gifts donated to SoFAB are owned by the SoFAB and may not be reclaimed by the donor or the donor’s heirs at any time hereafter.
Does the museum accept loans?
The museum accepts loans under certain circumstances and predetermined periods of time. It is appropriate to discuss the possibility of loans with museum staff.
How do we know if our potential donation is right for you?
If you are unsure about a potential donation, simply contact us. We’ll be happy to discuss the item and whether it is a logical “fit” for the museum. If it’s not, we’ll try to help you find a suitable home. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll deal with your inquiry quickly.
What about tax deductions?
Most items are eligible for tax deductions. Museum staff will work with potential donors to determine whether items qualify for tax deductions. However, it is the responsibility of potential donors to have items appraised to determine their value and to comply with requirements of the IRS and the applicable state law.
Who is responsible for appraisals, the donor or the museum?
SoFAB will not make, arrange for, or pay for appraisals of donated items for the donor in accordance with the requirements of the IRS. Staff may suggest without preference possible appraisers for the donor to contact, but will usually suggest more than one when feasible.
Does the museum accept donations of entire collections?
Yes. If a potential donor wants to donate an intact collection, SoFAB may accept it only if it is made clear to the donor that any parts of the donation that are not suitable for inclusion in the collections will fall outside the accession, and will be disposed of in an appropriate manner at SoFAB’s discretion.
Are there items you do not take?
Generally there are five common situations in which a donation may be declined:
- Object is out of the museum’s scope; for example, it is the wrong subject or geographic area. We may provide you with a list of alternative museums who might be interested.
- Duplicates already in collection. We may provide the proposed donor with a list of alternative museums that might be interested.
- Poor condition. We may not accept items that will tax space and conservation resources. In some cases we may seek funding for conservation before accepting the gift.
- Large size. In some cases, we cannot accept items that may our tax our limited storage and display space.
- SoFAB does not accept objects with “conditions.” No gift will be accepted on the condition that it is to be permanently exhibited or labeled.
Does the museum accept bequests?
Yes. The museum must have a copy of the portion of the will that names SoFAB or as a beneficiary or a letter from the executor of the estate that documents the gift. However, SoFAB is not obligated to accept bequests and will do so only when the material fits the needs of the collections or represents an exceptional opportunity to advance the purposes as described in its mission statement. Gifts received from heirs to an estate are not bequests and will be considered as donations.
How do we get a donation to the museum?
Many items can be mailed while others can simply be dropped off at the museum. Museum staff strongly recommends that rare or valuable gifts be sent by more secure methods. In some cases, museum staff can arrange for transportation. Please call 504-569-0405 or email email@example.com for more information.